English Name: astragalus seed, flat-stem milkvetch seed
Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Astraguli Complanti
Medica Category: Yang-Tonifying Herbs
Properties: Sha Yuan Zi enters the Kidney and Liver channels; it is sweet in nature and warm in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Sha Yuan Zi is the dried seed of the flat-stem milkvetch plant (Astragalus complanatus R. Br.), a plant closely related to (but not the same as) the plant from which the Chinese herb Huang Qi is derived. Astragalus complanatus is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows in meadows and on slopes in mountain valleys at medium elevations throughout most of temperate regions in China. The seeds are harvested when ripe in the late fall and used either unprocessed or salt-fried as medicine.
Sha Yuan Zi tonifies the Liver and Kidney and secures jing (essence) to brighten the eyes in deficiency presentations that present with blurred vision or diminished visual acuity. In these actions, Sha Yuan Zi also prevents the leakage of body fluids and jing that presents as spermatorrhea, impotence, and urinary incontinence, and polyuria.
Contraindicated in yin-deficient presentations with heat and hyperactive sexual arousal.